The Elephant in the Forest

There is something sad in this poem. And yet the author manages to finish it with what is just is, there are no right or wrong, every path is equally right and equally wrong. He seems resigned to this philosophy, perhaps.

If you find an intelligent companion
who will walk with you,
who lives wisely, soberly, overcoming all dangers,

walk with that person in joy and thoughtfulness.

If you find no intelligent companion
who will walk with you,
who lives wisely and soberly,
walk alone like a king who has renounced a conquered kingdom
or like an elephant in the forest.

It is better to live alone;
there is no companionship with a fool.
Let a person walk alone with few wishes, committing no wrong,
like an elephant in the forest.

Companions are pleasant when an occasion arises;

sharing enjoyment is pleasant.
At the hour of death it is pleasant to have done good.
The giving up of all sorrow is pleasant.

Motherhood is pleasant in this world;
fatherhood is pleasant.
Being an ascetic is pleasant;

being a holy person is pleasant.

Virtue lasting to old age is pleasant;
faith firmly rooted is pleasant;
attainment of wisdom is pleasant;
avoiding wrong is pleasant.

Courtesy of Stephan B.

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